Poble Espanyol is a unique town constructed from the re-creation to scale of 117 buildings from various regions of Spain. A peaceful and pleasant walk will show you the Peninsula’s variety of architectural heritage: from an Andalusian neighbourhood to Catalan Romanesque monastic architecture.
A peculiar village founded in 1929
We are talking about a village built on top of a mountain, Montjuïc. And this is precisely what it is: a village. With its main square and other smaller ones ,with streets full of traditional houses of various styles of Spanish architecture: Romanesque, Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, Baroque… And also, gardens, fountains, medieval walls… including a monastery and a museum!
The architect Puig i Cadafalch came up with the original idea and his colleagues Francesc Folguera and Ramón Reventós materialized it with the help of the art critic Miquel Utrillo and the painter Xavier Nogués, who travelled to 1.600 towns in the whole península, taking notes and drawing in order to capture the real essence of Spanish architecture. An essence which cannot be transmitted through big monuments but more through popular buildings, small parishes or enchanting little squares, the result of many centuries of history. The project had so much success that the government of the time decided to keep the precinct for the future generations.
Some of the buildings you’ll discover...
These are some buildings from different regions you can find reproduced and well preserved in Poble Espanyol.
Antiguo Ayuntamiento de Sigüenza
Castilla y León
Aranda de Duero
Aranda de Duero (Burgos)
Castilla y León
Ayuntamiento de Valderrobres
Arcos de la Lonja
Sos del Rey Católico (Zaragoza)
Arcos de Sos
Ayuntamiento de Graus
Ayuntamiento de Sigüenza
Castilla - La Mancha
Caldas de Reis
Caldas de Reyes (Pontevedra)
Arcos de la Frontera (Cádiz)
Things not to miss
The constructions of the Poble Espanyol are classified and organized in four big areas: Mediterranean, South, Centre and North. Together, they form an urban web with places you cannot miss. For example:
Plaza Mayor: just like in all the Spanish villages, this is the main public space, inherited from the Greek agora and the Roman forum. In our Plaza Mayor, inspired by the one in Riaza (Segovia), you will of course find the Town Hall, a spitting image of the one in Valderrobles (Teruel). But its structure is in fact inspired by many others constructions of other Spanish provinces.
Plaza Aragonesa: Dominated by the imposing Utebo tower, this is the other main square of the Poble Espanyol. The Mudejar building is a clear artistic reflection of the cross between Christian and Muslim religions, which is undoubtedly one of the singularities of Spanish history and culture and of Spanish architecture.
Catalan Romaneque architecture: In one of the extremities of the Poble Espanyol you will find the area dedicated to Catalonia. There, you’ll be able to contemplate the Sant Miquel monastery, which was built by recreating elements from five Catalonia monasteries like the one of Santa María de Porqueres in Girona. In this area, you will also discover buildings of the emerging urban bourgeoisie in Mercaders street. Moreover, you will enjoy great panoramic views of Barcelona.
El sur: this space, mainly dedicated to the provinces of Andalusia, shows a great contrast compared to the rest of the precinct. Narrow and winding cobbled alleys, white facades with blue flowerpots full of geraniums and the typical Cordovan patio are some of the characteristics of this area where you will find the Plazuela del Carmen and the Virgen de los Faroles.
But these are only four examples of what Spanish architecture in the Poble can offer. All over the precinct, you will find charming streets and corners that will make you travel geographically and in time: the Bajada de Cervantes, the Gradas de Santiago, Príncipe de Viana street with its Basque and Navarre houses, the San Miguel fountain... lose yourself in the Poble and enjoy the stroll!
Lively Spanish Architecture
The Poble Espanyol is much more than a decor inspired by Spanish architecture. Its constructions are full of life, and therefore the ideal place for additional cultural activities which you have to take part in. For example, the Fran Daurel museum, a rich collection of contemporary art where you can admire works from Picasso, Dalí, Miró, Tàpies, Chillida or Barcelò. The modernity of these artists lives in harmony with the tradition of Spanish architecture of the past centuries.
In addition, the Poble Espanyol houses in its buildings the workshops of dozens of artisans who make unique creations with leather, ceramic, metal, glass or wool, among other materials. This is why our precinct has been declared Area of Craft Interest by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia.
And if all this was not enough, the streets of the Poble Espanyol are full of bars, shops, restaurants and many other establishments which provide a rich variety of shopping and leisure options… Just like it would be in an authentic Spanish village!
Discover the diversity of Spanish architecture at a stroll
Poble Espanyol was built in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition, as a pavilion devoted to art. 49,000 m2 conceived as an authentic "town" in the heart of the city, with the purpose of enjoying a representative synthesis of Spanish architecture through reproductions of real buildings to be found all over the Peninsula, as well as streets, squares and other spots.
The selection of 117 buildings from all over Spain reproduced to scale meets the objective of creating an overall, harmonious composition so that the visitor can discover the country’s architectural diversity, not the most typical buildings of each region.